Thursday, October 25, 2007

Google Prepping Big Brand Marketing Dashboard

by Tameka Kee, Thursday, Oct 25, 2007 6:00 AM ET GOOGLE IS WORKING ON A "fully functional marketing dashboard" that will integrate data from advertisers' search, display and offline marketing efforts, allowing them to "look across assets, metrics and user engagement cycles," Tim Armstrong, president of advertising and commerce for North America, told analysts during an Analyst Day session.

No further details or timeline for the dashboard were given, but Armstrong said the "high velocity of interest from brand agencies and media partners" in Google's offline solutions, as well as newer ad models like Gadget Ads and YouTube overlays, warranted the development of a robust, integrated reporting platform.

"The more measurement you can put on this type of functionality the better," said Armstrong--noting that once the DoubleClick acquisition closed, its display metrics would add yet another layer of functionality.

Analysts got a deeper look into the key components of Google's "Search, Ads and Apps" strategy on Wednesday, with presentations from the search giant's top brass as well as product managers (almost all of whom were recent college graduates). The panelists and demos offered insight into advancements that have been made on all three fronts--from both a consumer and an enterprise perspective--and also gave details on future developments.

Such brands as Nissan and Global Hyatt have already made use of the search giant's lesser-known assets like Google Trends. According to Albert Cheng, product manager for Google Trends, the feature was created to "make our search data universally accessible and useful."
Consumers were "tapping into the wisdom of the crowd" to figure out the answers to their questions (Cheng and his wife had used Google Trends to determine the most popular way to spell their soon-to-be-born son Connor's name), but even Global Hyatt had used the data to determine whether to dub their newest Caribbean property "Hyatt Regency Trinidad" or "Hyatt Regency Port of Spain."

Ultimately, the hotel giant chose the former (undoubtedly after considering other factors), but said the sheer volume of searches for the keyword 'Trinidad' compared to the relative lack of searches for 'Port of Spain' was a primary reason for the decision.

Meanwhile, Nissan used Google Trends data to help determine whether the multichannel campaign (including product placement in NBC's "Heroes", print, TV and online ads) behind the launch of their new Rogue crossover SUV was working. The automaker compared search volume for 'Nissan Rogue' and 'Honda Pilot,' and noted that there was a definite spike in queries that coincided with the launch efforts.

At that point, "the marketing manager can ask for more money," said Cheng, "because it's clear that the campaign is working."

Tameka Kee can be reached at tameka@mediapost.com

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